Television Director Economic Rights

As episodic series become more complex, so do the production schedules and Director employment periods. Directing assignments are more frequently longer, take place in multiple geographic locations and occasionally include hiatuses during the production schedule. The DGA Basic Agreement has defined rules which address these increasingly exotic schedules and typically result in additional compensation owed to the Director.

If you have any questions regarding these provisions or would like a DGA staff member to review your calculations before submitting an invoice please contact the DGA Contracts Dept at 310.289.2010 or Contracts@dga.org

PAY-OR-PLAY & MINIMUM RATES OF PAY

Every episodic assignment has a minimum rate of pay which covers a minimum employment period (minimum rates & employment periods can be found on the Rate Card ). During this period you are exclusive to the producer and, with limited exception, once you begin your guarantee the days are applied without interruption, regardless as to whether you are working.



Travel time is work time and you are paid for travel days in the event you are not a local hire. Guild residency rules determine where you may work as a local hire. More information on residency rules are located here.

Per diem and housing must be provided every day you are on distant location at the behest of the employer, including unworked weekends.

If you are engaged only as a Director you will be owed the applicable rate of pay for each day during the production’s workweek you remain on distant location. For example, if held on distant location for a Monday through Friday workweek you will be paid all 5 days even if you only render services on the first and last day of the workweek.



Directors may be booked for a single assignment which crossboards multiple episodes of the same series. In such cases the minimum guaranteed period and minimum salary are multiplied by the number of crossboarded episodes.

COMPENSATION FOR WORK PERFORMED

In no case may a Director be required to shoot on the first day of prep. The following rules apply to shooting during prep on half-hour and one-hour series when hired for a single episode. If employed to crossboard episodes the production may interchange prep and shoot provided the Director ultimately receives no less than the minimum prep time required at some point within the schedule.

Half-Hour Series

A Director receiving 3 prep days may shoot 1 day during the prep period provided the Director is given an additional day of prep.

A Director receiving 4 prep days may shoot 1 day during the prep period provided the Director is given an additional day of prep if shooting on the prep day takes 5 hours or longer.

A Director receiving 5 or more prep days may shoot 1 day during the prep period.

One-Hour Series

A production may schedule shooting on 2 days during the prep period, provided the Director is given an additional day of prep in place of a prep day used for shooting which takes 5 hours or longer.



If the original Director of another episode is unavailable to return for incomplete work, then the studio may seek to hire you as a replacement Director. In this case the producer must have you consult with the original Director and you will be paid a higher, "daily" rate which will be in addition to any compensation you’re owed for work on your own episode.



On single camera, half-hour series you must be notified and invited to attend the table read for your episode. If you are provided 3 days prep and the table read occurs outside the prep period you will be paid an additional day for attending the table read.

If you are provided 4 days prep and the table read occurs on the business day immediately preceding the start of your prep period no additional payment is owed.

If you are provided 4 days prep and the table read occurs more than one business day preceding the start of your prep period you will be paid an additional day for attending the table read.

If you are provided 5 days prep and the table read occurs outside your prep period no additional payment is owed.



If engaged solely as a Director and you have non-consecutive work which occurs after your guaranteed period, you would be owed a maximum of 5 intervening days per episode.

The Basic Agreement recognizes producers may request a waiver of this payment in the event the reason the work was not consecutive is outside the production’s control. A DGA staff member will contact you if a waiver is requested on your episode.



For work on DGA recognized holidays & 7th days, Directors will be paid 1/5 of their weekly salary plus $3,791. If compensation is less than $3,791 per day, then you are paid 200% of scale.

The DGA recognized holidays are New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

If required to work a 6th day in-town, Directors will be paid 150% of actual pro rata daily salary or an additional 200% of scale, whichever is lower.

If required to work a 6th day out-of-town, Directors will be paid the applicable daily rate of pay.

HOW TO GET PAID

Given the complex schedules and various work rules which affect compensation it is common for a studio to not accurately determine the amount a Director is owed. This is why it’s strongly recommended an accurate calendar is maintained identifying all travel, work days and any down period.

This information can be input into one of the various Director invoice templates on this page to begin calculating total compensation. The completed invoice can be submitted by a Director’s representation to the producer providing a clear, streamlined accounting of all days worked. Any questions regarding calculations or disputes regarding payment can be referred to the DGA Contracts Dept at 310.289.2010 or Contracts@dga.org

    • Invoice Template - One Hour

    • Invoice Template - Half Hour